In Britain, Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, along with Liberal Democrats leader Vince Cable, are the poster boys for this year's "Islamophobia Awareness Month" a yearly campaign, which has been running under the leadership of Islamist group Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), since 2012.
"We have to drive out racism in any form in our society," said Corbyn – whose own Labour party has never been more anti-Semitic and who considers Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists his "friends". The message came wrapped in a propaganda video he stars in for the campaign. "Islamophobia," he continued, "is a terrible thing, causes terrible hurt and terrible pain".
"I greatly welcome the contribution that MEND is making to raise awareness of this issue and mobilise people in the political world and elsewhere to fight Islamophobia", Cable adds in the video.
Here are two leaders of British political opposition parties, virtually genuflecting to MEND, a group that was recently described, as "Islamists masquerading as civil libertarians".
Corbyn and Cable are not, however, the only ones to eager for the company of Islamic supremacists. Local authorities, police, teachers and MPs have all been working with MEND even though the organization "meets the government's own definition of extremism" ("Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.") and "has regularly hosted illiberal, intolerant and extremist Islamist speakers... has openly sought to undermine counter-terrorism legislation and counter-extremism efforts, in addition to having its own links to extremists..."
"Several of the organisation's employees and volunteers, including senior figures, have publicly expressed a range of disturbing views on terrorism and anti-Semitism. This has included expressing support for terrorists overseas, dismissing recent terror attacks in the UK, promoting anti-Semitic conspiracies and even calling on British Mosques to hold prayers for 'the Mujahedeen'".
Despite meeting the government's definition of an extremist group, MEND is nevertheless organizing a number of events for "Islamophobia Awareness Month" at British universities. It will feature its "Islamophobia Exhibition', which "celebrates positive contributions of British Muslims, dispose of common myths about British Muslims and highlights the media's role in perpetuating anti-Muslim prejudice" at Brunel University, SOAS, The London School of Economics and Political Science, and King's College, among others. There will also be talks, such as "Causes and Cures of Islamophobia".
Last year, the Bedford police force joined the "Islamophobia Awareness Month" campaign, but then withdrew after using the campaign's logo, which is similar to the hand gesture used by ISIS jihadists. One year later, the campaign still uses the same one-finger logo, unconvincingly claiming that it stands for "I" as in "Islamophobia".
The UK appears almost clinically obsessed with "Islamophobia" awareness campaigns. Only a few weeks ago, London police teamed up with Transport for London authorities to encourage people to report hate crimes during "National Hate Crime Awareness Week", which ran from October 14-21. The events were mainly targeted at Muslims, with officers visiting the East London Mosque to encourage reporting hate crimes.
One can think of other issues that are more deserving of an "awareness month" in the UK, especially because many of the people affected by those issues have suffered the consequences of the British obsession with "Islamophobia".
British authorities, especially police and social workers, criminally turned their backs on thousands of girls, who were groomed and raped "on an industrial scale" by Muslim rape gangs, especially in the city of Rotherham. Officials let down these children in the most horrific manner exactly because they had become conditioned to think along the lines of "Islamophobia". They grossly neglected their duties to protect the public, because they cared more about being labeled an "Islamophobe" or a "racist" than they did about the many young innocent lives that were being destroyed. Why is there no ongoing, nationwide awareness campaign for the detection of such grooming activity, including a campaign for officials to put their professional and ethical obligations ahead of what others might think of them?
British police and social workers criminally turned their backs on thousands of girls, who were groomed and raped "on an industrial scale" by Muslim rape gangs, especially in the city of Rotherham (pictured). Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images.
Victims of so-called honor crimes -- violence against women by their families in order to save the family's "honor", including honor killings -- are also badly in need of an urgent awareness campaign. Recent figures show that only 5% of honor-crime cases reported to the police were referred to the Crown Prosecution Service in 2016-17, despite a large increase in the number of cases being detected. More than 5,000 honor crimes were reported to the police in 2016-17. In fact, police often send battered women right back to the problems they came from, telling them to go home -- which might mean these women will likely become victims not only of violence but of an actual honor killing.
Victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) could also use an awareness campaign. In 2016-17, more than 9,000 instances of FGM were identified -- only slightly less than the previous year.
The UK also needs an awareness campaign on anti-Semitism, which has risen dramatically in the UK in the past three years, yet which the judiciary largely continues to ignore. In 2016/17, the Crown Prosecution Service litigated 14,480 hate crimes, yet, according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism:
"we have yet to see a single year in which more than a couple of dozen anti-Semitic hate crimes were prosecuted. So far in 2017, we are aware of... 21 prosecutions, in 2016 there were 20, and in 2015 there were just 12. So serious are the failures by the CPS to take action that we have had to privately prosecute alleged anti-Semites ourselves and challenge the CPS through judicial review, the first of which we won in March. Last year only 1.9% of hate crime against Jews was prosecuted, signaling to police forces that their effort in investigating hate crimes against Jews might be wasted, and sending the strong message to anti-Semites that they need not fear the law... Each year since 2014 has been a record-breaking year for anti-Semitic crime: between 2014 and 2016, anti-Semitic crime surged by 45%" .
The government's own counter-terrorism campaign, "Make Nothing Happen" -- a national public awareness advertising campaign launched in March 2017, urging citizens to contact police about suspicious activity -- risks being upended by the continued preoccupation with "Islamophobia". The risk is that people will hesitate and not report suspicious activity for fear of being labelled "racist" or an "Islamophobe". In the US, before the San Bernardino terrorist attack, a neighbor of the attackers, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, apparently did not report suspicious activity he witnessed outside their apartment precisely because of that fear.
This fear of being called an Islamophobe or a racist seems to have become deeply ingrained in the Western psyche. No one presumably condones disparaging anyone based on an ethnicity or religion, or defaming any group with a broad, indiscriminate brush. People even go to exorbitant lengths to avoid unjustly criticizing anyone or any group, even if criticism might be merited, as with England's Rotherham grooming gangs. The accusations of racism or Islamophobia seem meant to stop people from pointing out abuses even before they are committed so that the abusers can keep on freely committing them. The other question that is virtually never asked, is: If Muslims are upset about Islamophobia, how come so many of them, compared to other religious groups, keep providing "ammunition" that only supports and reinforces such a view -- especially when other Muslims remain silent, fail to condemn attacks by name, or seem to be doing nothing to try to prevent them? In addition, there is also the question of reciprocity: How come there seems to be no compunction about constantly defaming Jews as descendants of apes and pigs; saying that Jews are "filthy" and should be "annihilated" or even recommending genocide? These are real questions, asked in all honesty.
In New York, the deputy police commissioner told Americans that the deadliest attack in New York since 9/11 -- the car ramming attack perpetrated by jihadist Sayfullo Saipov -- had "nothing to do with Islam". People who dared react to his jihadist murders by committing (undefined) "bias incidents" or "hate crimes" would be "prosecuted to the full extent of the law".
Authorities in Britain, Europe and the United States are not fostering an atmosphere conducive to effective public safety, police work or counter-terrorism. Quite the contrary. Do they even realize that?
John Richardson is a researcher based in the United States.